Guitar fans, rejoice! World class shredder, George Bellas (Mogg/Way, Ring Of Fire) has unleashed a true innovative concept with his new CD, Planetary Alignment (Lion Music). Best known for his neo-classical styling's, Bellas' latest CD is completely based upon the science of astrophysics, and each song is based upon a particular subject within astrophysics. (Yes, pay attention, you'll be tested later) The idea was to compose music all based around the music interval of the Tri-tone, with the root tone as middle C. Confused? Don't be! Let's just say that that George Bellas wanted to compose music from scales, chords and rhythms NOT used in music very often. And Bellas, as usual for him, wrote and played all instruments on Planetary Alignment except for the drums, played by phenom Marco Minneman.
Planetary Alignment is 10 tracks of superb musicianship and excellent vision. Clocking in at over 61 minutes, this release is a well thought out, down to the last actual note, of a CD. Each performance on it is not an improv of an idea, but rather a masterfully planned and executed one. Bellas delivers an insightful idea that will, to be honest, probably be loved or hated. Planetary Alignment is best listened to with "open ears" and is, as far as I'm concerned, an excellent record. Bellas puts the neo-classical songs aside for this CD and instead focuses on the progressive, modern sound consisting of much more complexly crafted riffing. George Bellas' playing on Planetary Alignment is sheer brilliance.
Each of the 10 tracks is entitled to reflect the astrophysical theme. Lead off track, "Color By Numbers" clocking in at over 8 minutes features some ungodly guitar work, sure to both inspire & condemn follow guitarists out there. Other highlight songs are the title track, "Planetary Alignment", "Parallel Universe" and the rhythmic and sick guitar line filled "Supersymmetry". Drummer Marco Minneman was pushed to new heights on this record and his performances are just jaw dropping. Also of note, Bellas contributes all the keyboards on the record and they play a huge role within each and every song. Bellas isn't just a great guitar player, he is simply an amazing musician and composer!
As previously mentioned, this release will not be for most casual listeners, but for guitar fans and fans of overtly Progressive Rock/Fusion instrumentals, George Bellas serves up a unique CD filled with great playing and a different vision. The only real knock on this release is that some of the songs are a bit lengthy. I wish they were a bit more to the point. As for most musicians that do something outside the norm, I doubt that George Bellas will get the respect or notoriety that is deserved with such a avant-garde, innovative release, but he should. George Bellas is light years ahead with his ideas on Planetary Alignment and it is a musical adventure, to say the least.
- Color By Numbers
- Encoded In Light
- Subatomic Particles
- New Worlds Discovered
- Parallel Universe
- Overlapping Dimensions
- Escape Velocity
- Planetary Alignment